Our natural inclination is to employ a push approach when marketing ourselves to prospective employers. This used to work both in marketing ourselves and products. You spend time and money pushing out your personal brand to prospective employers just hoping to get a bite. It’s a numbers game, right? Submit as many resumes as possible and you’re sure to land something.
Recent studies show this resume pushing strategy is only effective 8% of the time And if it only works 8% of the time, one has to ask themselves how high the quality of that opportunity could really be, when it works so rarely.
For those earning $100,00/year or more, 50% are finding the next big gig through networking. The most successful of those top-earners are getting their referrals from inside of the organization, while referrals from outside the organization still half as effective.
At this point you’re thinking, “duh, everyone knows it’s who you know, not what you know.” When you think networking, you probably picture contacting friends, family, and colleagues, offline. However, the top-earners are leveraging most of their time networking online, often with people they don’t know. They do it consistently and constantly, even when they aren’t looking for a new opportunity.
Pull, Don’t Push
The top-earners employ a pull strategy, where instead of seeking recruiters, recruiters find them. The candidates perceived to be of the highest value in their space are establishing that perception by crafting an online presence. With exposure to so many different candidates, what you know is actually making a comeback.
With the emergence of the internet, there is a lot of noise to break through. Everyone is competing for attention. What you know is useless if you never get the opportunity to demonstrate. It is the responsibility of a candidate to craft their story and get it in front of people with opportunities for them.
Most of us are on LinkedIn, facebook, Twitter, you name it. Most of us are probably careful about what we show too. But the truth is, your name means nothing as a standalone social media profile, perhaps with some vague descriptions of what you’ve done.
How does that compare to the job seekers claiming the best spots?
The most talented job seekers are consistently publishing valuable content in their desired career space, and they’re getting it seen. As a result, they are able to carefully craft other’s perception of them and reach thousands of people. They know where to find their desired audiences interacting, join in, offer value, and link back to their blog where they publish more great content on related topics.
When a recruiter, a hiring manager, or potential referral source within an industry organization sees that potential candidate’s content, he/she is pre-vetted. The potential candidate has attached a very high perceived value to themselves. Compare that to their industry peers, who struggle to tell a compelling story in the resumes that are glanced over and placed back in a stack of 200.
From a recruitment standpoint, when you come across a potential candidate who has published 100 articles on the industry and attracts ten’s of thousand’s of reads per month, you see more than just a candidate who doesn’t have to prove he can do the job. You see a candidate who has the attention tens of thousands of industry peers. That attention in the hands of a crafty company means potential for new business, valuable strategic partnerships, and access to more valuable candidates at low recruiting costs.
Average effort yields average results.
The number one thing you have to recognize is this: if you approach job searching the same way as everyone else, you are likely to get average results. Differentiating yourself is key. Someone who makes a name for themselves in an industry by blogging not only gains tremendous value in the industry as a potential candidate, but they also accomplish a few more great things:
- They hone their industry skills and knowledge through research and regurgitation.
- They make tremendously more connections throughout the space than they otherwise could.
- They enjoy themselves (assuming they like what they do).
The best product in an industry rarely wins; the best positioning and distribution strategy wins. This is true for job searching, too. Craft the best story of yourself you could possibly pitch to a recruiter, and spread it with great reach and richness via content.
It doesn’t matter if you are…
- Employed or searching
- Young or old
- An industry expert, or looking to enter the industry
You can achieve a phenomenal return on investment from crafting an online presence. Simply establish your own blog as a home base and attract your audience through channels relevant to your industry. Usually, the channels you know best.
Do future you a favor.
Maybe you don’t need the benefits today, but you could be kicking yourself a year from now. A presence can’t be established immediately. As with accomplishing most great things, success in online presence requires foresight and persistence. It can’t be built overnight, so you do future you a favor by starting now. Commit an hour, two, maybe ten a week to consistently building your reach and perceived value.
Starting takes 20 minutes of your time and less than a dollar a day. So grab a cup of coffee and get to work.